Michigan II: Pole winner interview

Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS - Pole Winner ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN: "Obviously (it was) a good one. We were decent in practice and we didn't get probably the best lap but I thought we really communicated well on adjustments that we...

Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo SS - Pole Winner

ON HIS QUALIFYING RUN:

"Obviously (it was) a good one. We were decent in practice and we didn't get probably the best lap but I thought we really communicated well on adjustments that we needed and obviously they worked very well for qualifying. Of course that late draw paid off big time for us as well, just like (Greg) Biffle stepped it up there right ahead of me. I was able to do the same thing. I mean it didn't feel like a pole winning lap. I knew I was carrying good speed but I just felt like I needed to be in the throttle a lot harder than I was but it was a great lap so I'm really, really proud of this team for this one."

CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHY IT PAID OFF TO GO OUT LAST SINCE IT DIDN'T LOOK LIKE THE CONDITIONS CHANGED A WHOLE LOT THROUGHOUT QUALIFYING?

"Just the angle of the sun believe it or not, even though you might not feel it or see it. The track temperature does cool down just a few degrees and they said it was six degrees cooler from the start of qualifying to the end so in that way it paid off and I think in probably the biggest way is that you get an opportunity to look and watch every car and listen on the radio, the guys comments, plus your teammates and what they did and make air pressure adjustments on pit road to compensate for that. You hope that the adjustments that you made as you go through inspection are the right ones and then you got the fine tuning of the air pressure adjustments on pit road and plus you know what kind of lap you got to run so when I saw that Biffle ran that 15 right before me, I knew that I had picked up about six tenths from where I ran in practice."

ON REFLECTING ON WHAT JEFF MEENDERING DID OVER THE PAST SIX RACES AND NOW TRANSITIONING BACK INTO STEVE LETARTE AND HOW THAT'S BEEN A LIFT:

"Jeff did an amazing job. I think the whole team just proved what kind of caliber team we are by stepping up and we never finished outside the top 10, had a couple shots at winning. I'm a little disappointed that we didn't win. I thought we had some opportunities that didn't work out for us but I think that Steve.there's no doubt he just brings a little something special. He's been the guy that really has gotten this team in the position that we're in with the four wins, with the points and championship form and I think that today.it could be the slightest little detail, slightest little bit of communication or just a little bit of confidence and chemistry that's there that just kind of elevates up myself and the whole team and that's what I'm excited about for the next four weeks as well as going into those last 10."

HAVE YOU STEPPED IT UP A FEW EXTRA NOTCHES THIS WEEK AFTER WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEK?

"Well I wish last week I turned it down a notch. I had it up too many notches and that's what got me in trouble. I take a lot of pride in what I do out there and I want to do it the best I possibly can every single time I'm out there. I don't like to make mistakes even though we all make mistakes. Still I take it very personal and hard and when the team puts me in the position to win then we need to win. Obviously things happen. In Texas I made a mistake when we had the opportunity and I told the team I was going to make it up to them. Luckily I was hitting to do that the following week and then it happened last week and I want to make it up to them again but I'm not saying it has to happen this week but my way of making it up to them is to come to the track prepared with the intensity that it deserves and it takes and the focus to make sure I don't make mistakes. I'm not saying I wasn't focused last week but I made the mistake and I don't want to make those same mistakes twi ce."

WAS THERE A MOMENT SUNDAY NIGHT WHERE YOU SAID 'I CAN'T BELIEVE I DID THAT?'

"I said it a thousand times Sunday. I said it maybe 500 times on Monday and another couple hundred on Tuesday. That was a very tough one to get over and I'm really good at letting things roll off my back and getting past them and this has been a tough week. The best therapy for me has been getting home, being with Ella and Ingrid, but anytime I have time to think and my mind kind of clears out I start thinking about it and I'm just glad to get here to the race track so I can put it behind us and move on."

ON BEING THE LAST CHEVROLET TO VISIT VICTORY LANE HERE AND WHY CHEVY HAS HAD A TOUGH TIME WINNING AT THIS TRACK:

"Hard to say. I mean I feel like we've been a little bit behind horsepower over the past.you look, a lot of Yates cars have won here and those guys make some serious power. Now you've got the Yates-Roush package and they won here so they make obviously very good power. Other than that, I think we've been in position to win some races here, just hasn't worked out. I don't think there's really any major thing. I think it's just coincidence in some cases but if I was the last one I hope I'm the next one to do it too."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon